Currituck County eliminates Economic Development Director in FY 2022-2023 budget

By on June 15, 2022

Larry Lombardi

After several decades of funding, Currituck County has decided to eliminate its Economic Development Department — which consists of one person — in the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year budget.

Earlier this week, that one employee, Economic Development Director Larry Lombardi, sent out a message explaining that June 15 would be his last day on the job after being informed that his position would not be funded. Lombardi’s annual salary is just under $77,000.

“If you’re wondering why I’m leaving, let’s just say that it wasn’t my decision,” he wrote. “Was I ready to start my retirement early? Not really. But it is what it is.”

“At the end of the day, I’ll be handing in my badge and gun and heading home to watch the sunset over the Sound in flip-flops and shorts. There may, or may not, be a cold beverage involved,” he added.

A comment from Currituck County Manager Ike McRee emailed to Voice stated that the decision to defund the department reflected the county’s “belief that it can move away from an older model of economic development that is stale and not working toward a focus on the expansion and growth of existing local business and new and dynamic ways to encourage economic development.”

According to Currituck County spokesman Randall Edwards, the development director’s position has been funded since at least 1995, and former directors have included Peter Bishop, Wayne Leary, Wayne Lambertson, and John Mulvey.

The Currituck County Commissioners will vote on the 2022-2023 budget at their June 20 meeting. The recommended budget totals $126,914,856 for all county operations, with the General Fund accounting for $68,400,218 of that.

 

 

 




Comments

  • Billsnc

    Something stinks here…. With a budget like that, they can’t afford 77k for an economic development person? Has the county manager been to the single grocery store in Moyock at 5pm on a Friday???? The county desperately needs someone contacting these retailers to get them to invest in the county.

    That being said… With all this growth, and my point above, why hasn’t Larry been able to address these issues in the last several years? Another dollar general, storage facility, and a tractor supply ain’t cutting it with regards to the basic retail needs of the citizens.

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 1:38 pm
  • David Smith

    What a raw deal for Larry. The County is being short sighted. They will regret it.

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 5:24 pm
  • Billsnc

    Why do none of my comments make it now?

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 6:18 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Billsnc, your new comment has been posted. Again, the way the posted comments work on this page is that they are posted after they are written and then automatically taken down until I can read and moderate them. I try and do that often, usually about 4-6 times a day and today was more complicated because there was a lengthy internet outage. Please be patient.

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 7:41 pm
  • Billsnc

    Mark, no worries, was just curious… I have probably posted 10 comments on various articles in the last 2-3 months and not a single one has made it. I don’t think any were “controversial” so wasn’t sure…..

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 9:43 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Bill, I am quite sure I posted some of those comments. But in any event, keep sending them if you like.

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 10:54 pm
  • David Smith

    Mark: thanks for the explanation. I too have posted things and had them disappear. Most made it back later.

    Friday, Jun 17 @ 9:13 am
  • Penny Smith

    Agree with Billsnc. Not only do we need another grocery store but desperately need a drug store! Looking forward to some economic development that has the publics interests and needs considered.

    Saturday, Jun 18 @ 11:48 am
  • John Wesley Weaver Jr

    Although I live in Camden Co. I believe that this is a wise decision on Curritucks way of expansion and to put back funds for development for the people who need it. I only hope that Camden Co. will follow suit as well as other Counties.
    Thank you!

    Sunday, Jun 19 @ 9:57 am
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